How do you know what is real?
One day you feel confident in your body. You are okay with what you see the mirror. You appreciate your progress and notice your hard work paying off. You are feeling good about yourself as you work towards your peak performance state. Whether you are trying to whittle down your waistline and improve your aesthetics or up-level in your technique, you are on your purpose, fully committed to the game, and lovin' every second of the process!
The very next day, you HATE what you see. You look as if you gained 20 pounds overnight and shrank a foot. All you notice are your thunder thighs. It's almost as if you are looking in a fun house mirror. You appear clumsy and awkward in all your movements and are disgusted by your dancing. You feel like a thousand pound elephant tromping around the studio.
How can you go from one extreme to the next in such a short period of time? How do you know what to believe? Are you really that bad, or are your mental demons just playing tricks on you? Which version of you is real?
This isn't just hypothetical. This describes my actual dance day yesterday. I was just coaching a Bad Girl Ballerina client on this scenario a few weeks ago, and every now and then I have to take a dose of my own medicine. And, I can only bet you run into this situation more often than not, too.
It's so disorienting when you have a "bad dance day" like this where your first thought upon entering the studio is, "What the f*ck happened to me?" Then, the torrent of nasty, self-deprecating thoughts proceeds to flood your mind for the remainder of class and rehearsal. In this situation, you have two choices. You can either wallow in self-pity as you allow your mental demons to brutally torment you to the point of sabotaging all your hard-won efforts because, "Why even bother; you are hopeless." Or, you can stop the downward spiral, gain control of the situation, and turn things around with a couple mindset tools.
Here's how I deal with things:
Don't Trust What You See
Focus on Actions Over Outcomes
Actually Follow Through
This 3-step process puts the power back in your hands. It makes it easier for you to choose to take one more step in the direction of your goals...instead of drowning your sorrows in a tub of Ben & Jerry's later that night. Because remember, you are always either choosing to feed your demons or feed your self-esteem.
So, when your demons start swarming you with nasty thoughts and judgments on your bad dance days, shut down those voices and put an end to that downward spiral with this 3-step checklist. Choose to build yourself up instead of break yourself down. Dig yourself out of the hole one step at a time. Focus on your actions, & let them empower you.
Photo credit: Rachel Neville Photography
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